A big challenge ...
Last week, Defiance city officials convened a well-attended public meeting on the future of the 1918 school building that didn’t answer everyone’s questions, but continued the process of keeping preservation hopes alive.
A northern Ohio consultant (Jason Hamman) was on hand to provide an update about his firm’s efforts to market and save the building, which appears on the National Register of Historic Places. Specifically, his task is to find a developer, or developers, who would invest money to keep the building from the wrecking ball by finding a new use for it — hopefully one that benefits the community at large.
The regrettable alternative — like with so many other unfortunate old school buildings around our state — is demolition. Money has been set aside for this purpose, if another use cannot be secured.
With the city having acquired the building for the purpose of saving it for someone else, Mayor Mike McCann’s administration is likely to exhaust every option and turn over every rock before giving up on the building. We should caution that this could be a challenging process — perhaps, one in which the next use, if found, won’t be pleasing to everyone.
That remains to be seen, of course, but no one can fault city officials for at least doing what they can to preserve this historic building in some fashion.